My Week in ESTEEM: Sept 11-15

Author: Melissa Connolly

Melissa ConnollyMelissa Connolly

My Monday morning began with a meeting regarding potential (and after the meeting official!) partners for a start-up that Marissa, Mikaela, Isabella, and I are trying to launch. This company aims to help indigent patients find medical homes. We then went to our leadership course, where we debated what makes an effective leader.  This is a question that we will be discussing throughout the semester with a variety of guest speakers.  As future entrepreneurs, it is important that we create individualized concepts of successful leadership and learn how to put these concepts into action. Next, we attended our Data Analytics class where our leadership and teamwork skills were exercised as we embarked on a two week long group project. We will be analyzing data sets, looking for answers to questions that we believe are important to understanding the data.

On Tuesday morning I had my first exam of the semester in my technical elective, Medical and Molecular Pharmacology. Later that day I had a meeting with my thesis advisor Matt Leevy, who guided me into the next steps of my market research. I am currently working with Dr. Siyuan Zhang to commercialize a Breast Cancer Immunotherapy Prognosis Marker Kit that will tell oncologists prior to implementation whether a specific therapy is likely to be successful.

Later that day I attended our Technology and Business presentations course. I had my technology presentation last week, so in this class I was providing feedback for my classmates on their presenting styles. Later that day in our Technical Marketing Class we learned about customer segmentation, how to target them, and how to position yourself in the market to attract your customers.

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On Wednesday, a few of my classmates and I toured Better World Books. This company is a for-profit, social enterprise that sells books online while donating a portion of its proceeds to literacy programs. We learned about their partnerships with a variety of libraries and companies to make a global impact on literacy.  As we took the tour throughout the facility, we learned about the journey a book makes from of when it comes into the facility all the way until it is shipped out.  It is crazy to see how far this company has come from its start in 2003!

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On Thursday evening we were able to commemorate the opening of Fall semester as a cohort at a Mass exclusively for our program. This was a time to celebrate our collective experience here at ESTEEM and celebrate each other and this incredible opportunity.

On Friday we had a Lunch & Learn with the CEO of MTI, a global friction welding business headquartered here in South Bend, and with a former ESTEEM graduate who was able to secure seed funding for his new conduction venture. These opportunities allow us to get in front of successful leaders and entrepreneurs in a casual and inquisitive setting. After the lunch I had a one-on-one meeting with David about my future career goals and how I should go about achieving them. This is just one of the mentorship opportunities here at ESTEEM as you are surrounded by people who genuinely want to help you succeed. Life here is always exciting and filled with a contagious energy that pushes you to make an impact!